Union report suggests resources boom is evolving, not over

AUSTRALIA'S most powerful mining union's latest report could be called, "How I stopped worrying and learned to love the boom".

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union published its Sharing the Benefits report today, which suggests the resources boom is not over, it is just evolving from money coming from building to money coming from actual mining.

The dossier written by SGS Economics and Planning is designed to bolster the union's Lets Spread It Around campaign, a long-running push to have the wealth of the mining industry spread beyond the sector.

The report suggests cash flow for the industry doubled from mid 2006 to mid 2012, even as the share of industry earnings going to workers fell from 30% in 1990 to 20% now.

It also re-examines well known growing pains caused by spikes in the mining industry, including regional communities struggling to cope even as fly-in fly-out rosters slowly become the norm.

CFMEU mining and energy general secretary Andrew Vickers said it was silly for Australians to argue about how best to fund education or aged care while Australia was "in the midst of an unprecedented mining boom".

"We've just experienced an investment boom of the like we've never seen before and we're in the middle of a production boom with many years to go," Mr Vickers said.

Mr Vickers said the current Mineral Resources Rent Tax needs an overhaul but should not be dumped completely.
"We should build on it for the long-term," he said.

Meanwhile, the Minerals Council of Australia - an industry peak body - may agree the mining boom is not over, but in a September report called for the dumping of the MRRT and other charges to help "reboot the boom".

In the past 12 months, up to 10,000 jobs in coal mining have been lost in both Queensland and New South Wales as low coal prices and the high cost of production have an impact after a decade of industry health.

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